herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Will breakthrough give Fiona's mum closure?

Fiona Pender vanished without trace on the morning of August 23, 1996. She was 25-years-old and seven months pregnant.

Fiona was one of a number of young women who disappeared over a number of years in the Leinster area never to be seen again.

They included the America student Annie McCarrick, Jo-Jo Dollard, Ciara Breen, Fiona Sinnott, and Deirdre Jacob. I have spoke publicly over the years on these disappearances and voiced my opinion that a serial killer (or killers) was likely involved in a number of these disappearances.

Despite intense and ongoing Garda investigations and cold case reviews no breakthrough had been made in any of the cases.

However, in the last number of days it's emerged that there may be a breakthrough in the case of Fiona Pender.

A suspect in Fiona's disappearance has been arrested and charged over the last week in another jurisdiction over threats against a woman.

This woman has now come forward with hopefully valuable information on Fiona's disappearance and where her body might be buried.

We can only hope that this case may be resolved and Fiona's body recovered. Only then can her grieving, heartbroken mother Josephine find some sense of closure.

And a successful outcome in this case may also provide some hope to the families of the other disappeared women.

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